Chernobyl Diaries follows a group of travellers who decide to go on a extreme adventure tour of the abandoned city of Pripyat, next to the disaster site of the Chernobyl reactor site. Things start to go wrong from the start when they are refused entry to the city for an unknown reason, however their tour guide decides to take them into the city via a less secure and guarded route. Of course there was a reason why the city was temporarily off limits, and this is what the film documents.
Unfortunately this is definitely one of those films where the trailer reviews far too much of the film, especially the “jumpy bits”. I was surprised at this as the principle screenwriter was Oren Peli who was regarded highly for his writing and involvement with the Paranormal Activity series of films which used trailers that included material that was never shown in the actual film.
The suspense during the first three quarters of the film was done well, with no reservations held for the safety of the travellers, and holds the consolidated loan calculator typical layout for modern horror-thrillers. Unfortunately the final part of the film was extremely predictable, almost with groan-inducing tedium when you realise that you had figured out where the film was headed. I won’t break the spoiler, however I implore you to enjoy the build up and hopefully ignore the finale!
Overall Chernobyl Diaries was an enjoyable movie but with many flaws – definitely a save-for-TV choice!